To keep tabs on power distribution and transmission losses besides making the process of controlling the load on electrical appliances easier, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) under its Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Project (APDRP) has started installing smart meters in the city.
Smart meter is a power calculating device which shows time and area specific recording on power consumption.
More than 1,000 such meters are currently in operation in the industrial area here, but they too need upgradation.
A PSPCL official said the smart meters which are in use in the industrial area do not have modems which will help consumers control power load.
He said the upgraded smart meter will have the controlling device could be a remote or in the form of some codes on their mobile devices.
Other than this, it carries the terminal that records extra load taken by certain appliance along with the memory that will keep the record of inflow and outflow of the electricity.
Under its APRPD project, the department is in the process of digitising all data and integrating the same so that it can have information of each and every area.
Smart meters will help the department keeping tabs on meter tampering, a common factor causing revenue loss. An attempt to tamper with the meter will appear on the department’s monitoring device.
Moreover, it will minimise the chances of errors while recording power units.
Benefits to the domestic consumers
Since the meter records twoway flow of power, consumers who are equipped with their own power generating source can become the energy source for the PSPCL.
Currently, Wahid Sandhar Sugar Mill in Phagwara, where a smart meter has been installed for the past two years, is transmitting power to the department with its renewable sources. Officials say the generating unit is of 4 megawatt capacity.
Though smart meters are installed in the area which comes under large supply category like industries, it will take at least one year for the department to make it available for domestic consumers as the PSPCL has already crossed the deadline of implementing APDRP (phase A), which was December 31, 2012.
“We have procured smart meters for domestic use. Now, it is up to the distribution department to make it available for domestic consumers,” said Amarjit Pal, chief engineerof PSPCL’smetering department.